Virtual Conferences Are Weird

02 July 2020

For my last act as a postdoc/first act as a professor, I presented our late-breaking report, Situated Multimodal Control of Mobile Robot: Navigation Through a Virtual Environmment at RoboDIAL: the Special Session on Situated Dialogue with Virtual Agents and Robots at the SigDIAL conference. The conference was originally slated to take place in Boise, Idaho, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic was moved to an all-virtual format. Not knowing what to expect from a virtual conference, this has been a new experience for me, and while it was odd attending a conference via Trello, YouTube, and Zoom, having to record a video presentation in advance and do a Q+A session at 8:45 pm, I have to hand it to SigDIAL and Boise State for pulling off an event that has been engaging and interesting and (eventually) easy to navigate. Can’t wait to get back to in-person conferences but this was an interesting experience and suggests be a really good way to increase accessibility for conferences, even physical ones, if done right. I’ll be doing at least two more of these this summer.

The paper is here, and you can watch the video presentation on YouTube.